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The rights of the child

Norrie, Kenneth (2004) The rights of the child. Juridical Review. pp. 55-63.

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The basic premise of the Hague Child Abduction Convention is that the welfare judgment required when parents disagree about where the child is to live is properly made by the court of the child’s habitual residence (the “court of origin”). So if the child is wrongfully taken to another country, the court there (the “requested court”) must return the child to its habitual residence “forthwith”. The traditional approach has been to minimise the opportunities for the requested court to assess whether return would be in the welfare of the child, because that assessment is time consuming, and to keep the parameters of the specified exceptions to retention within very narrow bounds, for otherwise the Convention’s principles risk being entirely subverted.